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King eyes Rookie Rebel crown

Incapacitated mightn’t have the middle distance credentials of many of his rivals – yet – but NSW trainer Justin King is adamant he can make his presence felt in Saturday night’s Group 1 Rookie Rebel (600m) at The Meadows.

“I can’t wait,” said King.

“The dog is spot on and I’m not going down there with a 30/1 chance that needs a lot of luck.”

Incapacitated, $10 in TAB’s Rookie Rebel market, is stepping up in trip after matching motors with the best sprinters in his home state recently.

He won the Group 3 Christmas Shootout, handing King his first Group victory in a quarter of a century, and finished runner-up to boom sprinter Wow in the Group 2 Gosford Cup and fifth in the Group 1 Paws Of Thunder.

However the son of US sire SH Avatar is a middle distance novice, with a lone 618m victory at Richmond to show from four assignments.

Boasting an impressive 16 from 38 overall strike rate, Incapacitated was invited to nominate for both the Temlee over 525m and Rookie Rebel and King had no hesitation in targeting the latter.

“He won his first ‘600’ at Richmond and then we had all intentions of going up to Brisbane for the (Group 2) Golden Sands but the borders shut,” King explained.

“So I freshened him up and went back over the ‘500’.

“He won the Shootout, where the two-out format suited him down to the ground, he ran second to Wow in the Gosford Cup, then won a heat of the Paws Of Thunder in 29.46s but wasn’t good enough in the final.”

King isn’t concerned that Incapacitated comes into the Rookie Rebel off a less than auspicious last start third in a 630m event at Nowra, where he was beaten by another Rookie Rebel contender in Ava Wine.

“I had the option of the Temlee or Rookie Rebel but my preference was the Rookie Rebel,” he said.

“I nominated him for a top grade ‘600’ at The Gardens two weeks ago but they didn’t get a race so the last resort was the race at Nowra.

“The 630m at Nowra is hard run and it was his first ‘600’ this prep. He was a bit unlucky in the run but still ran a good third.”

Incapacitated pleased King with a 34.25s trial at The Meadows last Saturday, making the point the time compares favourably with $3.20 favourite Fernando Cazz’s 34.04s personal best.

“He trialled straight after race one and a couple of the local trainers told me they water the track pretty heavily and it doesn’t quicken up until race four or five, so it was a good run,” King said.

“I don’t mind box seven. The way I look at it, even if he’d drawn one, two or three he’s still got to begin on the bend start. I also think he’s better going around dogs, rather than going under them or through them.

“He’s been jumping good over 500m against 500m dogs so if he can begin as well as he has been against 600m dogs he should be up near the lead.

“He’s got a strong finish so if he can possie up in the first four he’ll be hard to hold out.”

The Rookie Rebel is race 7 on the bumper Meadows card, to jump at 8.35pm.

*Please note, this event is now closed to the general public. Only essential workers will be required to attend the Invitational night at The Meadows.  

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Gerard Guthrie
About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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